No Worries

Mar 29, 2012

BISMARCK, ND – The Bismarck Bobcats’ put their season-high three-game losing streak behind them and broke a trio of team records in the process thanks to a 6-2 drubbing of the intrastate rival Minot Minotauros Friday at the VFW Sports Center.

Friday’s victory pushed the Bobcats past their 2008-09 counterparts in the single-season record books in both wins at 44 and standings points at 90, while Tommy Burke topped the year-old single-season mark for wins by a goaltender with his 31st between the pipes.

“Some of the names that have come through this program in the past few years: Ryan Faragher, Ryan Massa, David Bosner, Matt Grogan, Jake Kremer; it’s pretty cool to think that I have that record with goalies like that coming before me,” marveled Burke, who needed just 21 saves to break his former teammate’s record Friday.

Adam Knochenmus got the Bobcats going just 4:08 into the game when a Dan Zawacki put-back of a Shane Omdahl rebound deflected off his pants and in.

Minot drew even on the power play with 6:55 to go in the first as Hans Drawbert popped a bad-angle shot off Burke’s back and in for a 1-1 score.

Tyler Richter pushed the Bobcats ahead for good with 47 seconds left on the rush, ripping a Buster Hebda rebound past Buster’s twin brother and Minot goalie Jake for a 2-1 lead.

“Yeah, I was pretty jacked up when I scored,” beamed Richter, who snapped a five-game scoreless streak with the go-ahead strike and then proceeded to add three assists on the night. “Playing on a line with Castan [Sommer] and Frankie [DeAugustine] was unreal tonight. I love playing with those guys.”

That line wasn’t finished, either. Just 82 seconds into the second period, Sommer took a centering feed from DeAugustine and blazed a rising shot over Hebda’s glove to push the lead to 3-1 for the Bobcats.

Sommer followed his 31st goal of the year with his 32nd 8:02 later on another top-shelf blast, this time on the power play and over Hebda’s blocker to run the Cats’ edge to 4-1.

Minot struck back 78 seconds later with another power play tally as Derek Tylka found Denis Dalidovich alone in the slot for an easy one-timer past Burke, slicing back to a two-goal game at 4-2.

The Bobcats pulled away from there, however, as DeAugustine racked up his 16th goal of the year when Richter found him in space on the rush and DeAugustine deked out Hebda and tapped a backhander through the Minot netminder’s legs, bumped the lead back to three at 5-2.

Nick Miglio put the icing on the cake for the first-place Cats 7:02 into the third, rushing 1-on-3 to help get a line change finished and placing an arcing wrister over a screened-out Hebda’s left shoulder and in for the final 6-2 count.

“That’s the effort we, as a team, have been trying to achieve for a few weeks now,” explained Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, who passed his mentor Byron Pool for both franchise single-season records Friday. “If we can work hard like that for 60 minutes, the sky is the limit for this team.”

Hebda, who shared an emotional hug with his twin brother Buster at center ice after the teams went through hockey’s traditional handshake line, made 33 saves but suffered his 29th loss of 2011-12.

Friday’s win closed the Bobcats’ first season series with the Minotauros on a high note as the Bobcats finished the regular season 11-1-0 against their neighbors to the north. It is the Cats’ best result in a divisional season series since going 12-1-0 against the Alexandria Blizzard in 2009-10.

The Bobcats will close the 2011-12 regular season with a playoff preview as they welcome the Aberdeen Wings to the VFW Sports Center Saturday for the 12th round of the Titan Machinery Dakota Cup. The Cats and Wings, who are set to square off in the first round of the 2012 Robertson Cup Playoffs, will drop the puck on Saturday at 7:15 PM.

Saturday’s season finale will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide on the official internet television partner of the NAHL, FASTHockey, at Pregame coverage gets under way at 6:45.

Playoff tickets for the Bobcats’ first-round matchup with Aberdeen are now on sale for Game One April 6 and Game Two April 7! Call the Bobcat Hockey office at (701) 222-3300 to reserve your seats or buy and print your playoff tickets online now at!